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What is Architectural Engineering?
Architectural Engineering is a field of study in business focused on fusing engineering and technology to building design and construction. The Architectural Engineering arena can include a variety of engineering specialties such as structural engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, plumbing, and fire protection engineering.
An architectural engineering major will gain academic knowledge and hands-on experience to understand many of the following: seismic design, earthquake engineering, MEP, HVAC, plumbing, gutter systems, telecommunication, power distribution, fire alarm, control systems, signalization, and lighting systems.
Top Degrees in Architectural Engineering
The degree programs available in this field of study will vary from school to school. You may find degrees for architectural engineering technology listed as ArchE or by its full, proper name in a course catalog. In either case, it is important to understand what is stands for as a discipline.
Students in ArchE will learn all aspects of a building environment including the building envelope, lighting systems, HVAC, electrical systems, mechanical systems, indoor environment, construction, and research methodologies. Degrees you may find in a school’s course catalog include an associate degree, bachelor degree, and master’s degree in ArchE.
Courses in ArchE will depend on the school’s curricular design, resources, and teaching methodologies. However, a common set of classes in the field of study include:
- Building Design
- Thermal Loads
- Building Controls
- Building Audits
- Electrical Systems & Design
- Sustainable Building Design & Construction
- Lifecycle Engineering
- Building Information Modeling
- Air Quality Controls
- Statistical and Economic Models
- Noise & Acoustics
- Radiation Heat Transfer
- Solar and Thermal Engineering
- Boundary Layer Theory
- Momentum Transfer
- Convection Heat and Mass
- Systems and Controls Optimization
- Numerical Analysis
- Applied Regression Analysis
An associate degree program will typically take two-years to complete and bachelor degrees will take about four-years. Both undergraduate degree programs in ArchE will couple core curricula with general education courses such as English composition, sociology, psychology, creative writing, and philosophy. To goal of liberal arts classes is to provide students with holistic thinking tools regardless of their specific major or field of study.
Educational Requirements in Architectural Engineering
In terms of educational requirements, Architectural Engineering Technology degree holders will have typically studied the following courses while in college:
- English Language
- Structural Engineering
- Business Management
- Computational & Applied Mathematics
- Mechanical Engineering
- Construction Engineering
- Art History
Architectural Engineer Jobs
Architectural engineer majors will graduate college with a special set of skills. The ability to perform technical calculations couple with design prowess and construction know-how are highly marketable. Most architectural engineers will find gainful employment in their area of specialty after college.
Some may choose to leverage those marketable skills into careers similar to their major. Examples of adjacent trades can include: architect, operation technician, structural engineer, mechanical engineer, drafting specialist, electrical engineer, fire protection engineer, chemical engineer, civil engineer, electromechanical engineer, industrial engineer, geological engineer, nuclear engineer, and construction project manager.
Architectural Engineering Careers
The employment outlook for architecture engineers is expected to be 8% slightly outpacing the national average composite of 6% growth. In this niche industry, an eight percent growth will translated to around 9,900 new jobs. The mean annual income for an architectural engineering manager is currently $137,720 which is $66.21 an hour. This represents a way in excess of three times the national average for AE managers.
Careers for architecture engineers can be in stand-alone corporation or part of other entities. Examples of industries you will find architectural engineers include aerospace, automotive, commercial building construction, residential building design, industrial, and architectural.
Resources in Architectural Engineering
For students seeking industry-specific information in ArchE, the premier organization in the field is the AEI or Architectural Engineering Institute. The AEI boasts a membership base in excess of 8,000 with a variety of technical literature, educational opportunities, nationwide chapters, and professional advocacy.
As the industry continues to evolve with technological advances, it is vital to get plugged into nationwide organizations to keep abreast of industry changes for all professionals. In addition, the ASCE provides professional support and networking opportunities for engineers across the country.